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A Hairdresser's Experience in High Life
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Here is the first fully annotated edition of a landmark in early African American literature, the 1859 autobiography of Eliza Potter, a freeborn black woman who, as a hairdresser, was in a unique position to hear about, receive confidences from, and observe wealthy white women. Xiomara Santamarina provides an insightful introduction to this edition that includes newly discovered information about Potter, discusses the author's strong satirical voice and proud working-class status, and places the narrative in the context of 19th-century literature and history.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. A Note on the Text
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. INTRODUCTION: Eliza Potter: Black “Working Woman,” Author, and Social Critic
  2. pp. xi-xxxv
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  1. THE AUTHOR'S APPEAL
  2. pp. 1-2
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  1. 1. My Debut
  2. pp. 3-12
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  1. 2. England
  2. pp. 13-19
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  1. 3. America
  2. pp. 20-27
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  1. 4. Saratoga
  2. pp. 28-54
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  1. 5. Leaving Saratoga—Burning of the Baggage Car—Visit to New York
  2. pp. 55-63
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  1. 6. Newport—The Maid's Story
  2. pp. 64-71
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  1. 7. Minnie
  2. pp. 72-83
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  1. 8. Natchez—New Orleans
  2. pp. 84-115
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  1. 9. Cincinnati
  2. pp. 116-178
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  1. APPENDIX A: Biographical Information on Eliza Potter (1820?–1893)
  2. pp. 179-182
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  1. APPENDIX B: Newspaper Reviews of A Hairdresser's Experience in High Life
  2. pp. 183-198
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 199-214
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